My daughter, my youngest, my mother's namesake... is one of the most loving and accepting human beings I've ever met.
And (bonus points) literally came out of 'my' body.
She's always been a good kid but in her late teens, blossomed like a beautiful and exotic orchid.
She worked as a counselor at a Girl Scout camp a couple of years ago and met a girl from England who was working there as well, along with another girl who lived north of Atlanta.
Pretty instantly, she had a bestie from across the pond and another just a nightmare drive away in Atlanta's horrible traffic, especially driving north bound.
She also has a bestie from high school who is also an absolute pleasure to be around.
The kid picks friends wisely.
So whenever she asks if one of them can come stay with us for a visit, never hesitate to say, "Of course they can."
I'd never met her bestie from England but when Massey said she was coming for a visit thought; if this girl can put up with us, we can (and would) most certainly put up with her as she dodges, maneuvers around our three dogs and fights with them for space to sit on the couch.
Crazy enough, she had a good time!
Then the next year, her entire family from England came to the States for 'holiday' (as the Brits say) and surprised Massey by showing up at her twenty first birthday party at my sister's house in Senoia...or as my brother calls it "thirty miles east of hell."
It's quite a drive from the city but they all showed up and was hands down the most surprised I've ever seen Massey.
Soon after, we loaded up our truck and moved to Orlandy. Sand that is...every where.
Massey was the one who took the hardest hit. Away from everyone she grew up with, away from her besties both state side and abroad. She was finishing up her degree online and living in a town where she had just three friends. Her uncle, her oldest brother and his future wife.
Did she complain?
I guess she was too busy sopping up my snot and dabbing my constantly crying eyes after getting here to find out I didn't have a job after all.
I rebounded quickly (not even close) but finally found a job and after a month or so of feeling sorry for myself started to live again.
Then Massey asked if her bff from high school could come visit?
The more the merrier!
Cutest guy on the planet.
He also survived staying with us and was a wonderful visit. They made me watch "Mean Girls" with them and can't believe I dreaded watching it.
High school...on point!
Then recently Massey asked if another bff, from her gig at the Girl Scout camp could stay with us a couple of days while in Orlando?
If there's one thing us Clampetts love it's having folks to come over and 'set a spell'.
I'd met the girl briefly at Massey's birthday party but quickly came to love her after she mailed me two pair of ear buds for Christmas which are soft as cotton balls in my ears as I now sit silently blogging in my bedroom, with the husband snoring away five feet from me, with my favorite tunes blasting through my head. This wonderful girl even offered to (did) pay for half of Massey's ticket to go to Disney with her for a day while visiting.
Massey's bff from where we used to work at the Atlanta airport even came to visit a while back.
I'm beginning to think people love Massey almost as much as I do.
She's thoughtful, almost as loud as me sometimes... a train wreck in the kitchen but the most beautiful soul anyone could ever be lucky enough to meet.
She's smart. She's dedicated to continuing her education and will be a force heard loud and clear.
Trust me, I know my girl.
She came into this world well over two months early, barely weighing four pounds... almost killing us both. I can still hear her heart monitor going off. Freaked me out every single time. Didn't help my sister's microwave had the same exact beep and spent a lot of time at my sister's house.
Yet (over) twenty one years later, she is a huge part of why I am living.
I can't say or express it enough.
Love is the most powerful tool a person can use.
Yes, I'm a goof ball.
Actually I like being a goof ball.
Never take yourself too seriously. I've learned that time and time again. Guess I'm a slow learner.
Here's the thing.
You can be a rich person or a broke person. You can be a winner or sometimes crap out.
Life's a gamble.
Roll the dice every day.
You know what I'm gonna do?
Keep on rolling.
Rolling on the river of life... That's me!
Til next time...COTTON